Rugby star David Pocock has applauded a formal move by the Australian Rugby Union to stamp out homophobia in rugby, and hopes it will prompt other sports to follow suit.
To coincide with the one-year countdown to the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney - the World Cup of gay rugby - the ARU on Tuesday announced it would draft and implement an "Inclusion" policy for rugby, aimed to enshrine tolerance in the game’s charter.
The policy, which will be among the first of its kind in world sport, is separate to existing anti-vilification guidelines, and is likely to see elements such as anti-homophobia programs for young players and high-profile stars in public awareness campaigns. It could ultimately even see rugby participants face penalties if guilty of homophobic behaviour.
The ARU will consult with the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Human Rights Commission, players groups and the gay and lesbian community to formulate a policy in time for the 2014 Bingham Cup.